The Kaduna State Government says it is set to enroll not less than 587,000 pupils and students into its public primary and junior secondary schools in the 2019/2020 academic year.
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, disclosed this during an unscheduled visit to monitor an ongoing construction and renovation of public schools at Rigasa on Friday in Kaduna.
Makarfi said that the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), had begun sensitising and mobilising communities to enroll about 145,000 out-of-school children into primary schools across the state.
According to him, about 300,000 pupils are also expected to be enrolled into the Junior Secondary Schools, majority of which will be public schools.
He added that 142,000 other students would be moved to the Senior Secondary Schools.
Makarfi said that the government was making consistent efforts to upgrade infrastructure in schools in a bid to accommodate the huge number of children yearning for sound and quality education in the state.
“We have awarded several contracts for the construction of additional classrooms and renovation of existing ones to increase access to primary and post primary education and provide conducive learning environment.
“For example, over 170 classrooms are being constructed in Rigasa community alone.
“This is why we are going round to see the progress of work and the performance of the contractors with a view to ensure quality and timely completion of the projects.
“Also, contract will soon be awarded for the conversion of 13 Government Day Secondary Schools to boarding schools as part of measures to increase access,” he said
The commissioner, who expressed satisfaction with the quality and performance of some of the contractors, urged others to sit up and do the needful.
He said that the ministry had met with some of the contractors about two week ago and looked at the challenges hindering the execution of about N6.4 billion worth of contracts awarded.
“The government has since commenced payments to contracts because we want these projects to be completed. We are therefore, urging all contractors to mobilise back to site.
“However, we will also blacklist under-performing contractors and work with only those who are ready to deliver quality projects within the stipulated time,” he added.
Makarfi also said that teachers were also undergoing various forms of training to improve their capacity to deliver quality teaching and improve learning outcomes of pupils and students in all public schools.